Education for Sustainability in Pre-service Teacher Education: An Opportunity for Change

By Joy Hardy, Frances Quinn and Susen Smith.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Education

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This paper examines the perceived presence of education for sustainability in initial / pre-service teacher education programs at a regional Australian university. The findings of the study indicate that all dimensions of sustainability as specified by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (2005) are perceived to be incorporated into the initial / pre-service teacher education programs, however the coverage is uneven. This results in the identification of important gaps, which are discussed in relation to current national and state policy and curriculum documents, as well the accreditation requirements for initial / pre-service teacher education programs.

Keywords: Education for Sustainability, Environmental Education, Pre-service Teacher Education

The International Journal of Sustainability Education, Volume 9, Issue 4, February 2015, pp.31-47. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 556.240KB).

Assoc. Prof. Joy Hardy

Principal Research Manager: Policy Frameworks, National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Associate Professor Joy Hardy is the Principal Research Manager: Policy Frameworks at the National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR) at the University of New England in Australia. Her research interests include the design of initial teacher education programs, poststructuralist critiques of language and cultural production, and the construction of the environment and environmental subjectivities.

Dr. Frances Quinn

Lecturer, School of Education, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Dr. Frances Quinn is a lecturer in Science Education at the University of New England. Her research interests include Science Education (particularly Biology), distance and blended science learning and teaching, students' perceptions of learning science and Education for Sustainability.

Dr. Susen Smith

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Susen Smith has three decades of leadership, teaching and research experience from Kindergarten to Tertiary levels, having taught early childhood, primary, secondary, gifted and special education, education for sustainability, TESOL and Aboriginal studies. Her research interests include: differentiating curriculum and pedagogy for diverse student needs in multidisciplinary contexts, gifted education, social and cultural needs of underachievers, authentic project-based learning and education for sustainability. She is currently a senior lecturer in gifted and special education at the University of New South Wales.